A mystery billionaire is among the bidders hoping to win the auction to host Anthony Joshua’s £200million mega-fight with Tyson Fury.
The heavyweight world champions last week signed a contract after months of negotiating and the fight has now been put out to tender in order to finalise a summer date and venue.
Saudi Arabia, which hosted Joshua’s revenge mission against Andy Ruiz Jr, has long been the favourite but Singapore, Macau, the United States and several other Middle Eastern countries are in the running.
And promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he has been approached by a businessman from the Far East.
He said: “I had an approach on Wednesday, not from the Middle East, but it was the most bizarre approach.
“It was from a very wealthy individual and he wants to do something very special.
“This one was just well out there. And it’s a realistic option, money is not an issue with this guy.
“Commercially it’s a bit strange, but it’s not about that.
“It’s a trophy asset to say, ‘This is the biggest event in the world’.
“And that’s the mindset of an individual who wants to bring it to his own country.
“I told AJ about it last night and he’s just like ‘I’ll leave it with you mate’. This is an event that you can showcase to the world.”
Hearn has also dismissed suggestions that the pandemic could delay the fight until the second half of the year.
He added: “I see some of the comments saying the sites might prefer the fight in November or December.
“Of course, but that is not what is on the table, that’s not what we are pitching. If the question comes back ‘Can we do it later in the year?’. The answer is no, that’s the date.
“Otherwise the WBO belt becomes an issue again, something else happens. Fury might turn around and say he needs another fight.
“The absolute focus is June or July. If there’s a site that says another date then you’re out.
“Joshua speaks to Saudi and they’ve told him ‘we’re doing the fight’. He could not care less where this fight is, he just wants the fight. He said he’d do it in my back garden.
“He loves Saudi, he loved the setup, that would be the preference if we were going to the Middle East. And they want to do the undisputed, that’s the message from them.”